Sexy Video Game Characters and Cosplays

sexy

So Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima put out a tweet recently that kicked up a firestorm in the gaming world. In case you missed it, here it is:


The tweet’s been pretty universally dragged through the mud.  Gameranx called it creepy. David Ellis, Halo designed, called it disgusting. Continue reading

Why do I love GenCon?

Right now, I’m at the Crowne Plaza hotel, inside the Pullman’s Sports Bar. It’s not that crowded in here unfortunately. I was hoping to be able to meet a few gamers here. Well, maybe I’ll have a chance once I’m done writing this.

Hi

Hi

Yeah, that’s me. Wearing my favorite Superman shirt. And yep, that’s dice necklaces. Shame I couldn’t get a good picture with my hands since I’m wearing Green and Blue Lantern rings. In front of me, besides my laptop that I purchased last year, is the GenCon booklet.

Yay!

Yay!

I have that with me so I can figure out where I’m headed to tonight. I know there’s a movie that’s debuting somewhere in the convention center. I may check it out, if I can figure out where it is or what it is called. I could go watch anime. That could be fun. There’s also a video game room I haven’t found yet. Or I could just wander around and see what catches my eye.

Ah GenCon. You are a convention like no other. I can play virtually every tabletop RPG ever made, any board game I may desire, a plethora of video games, every single card game in existence, watch anime, enjoy movies made by independent film makers that are actually pretty good, thousands of friendly people to talk to, a business community falling head-over-heels to make every gamer happy… and the icing on the cake… the weather is perfect.

Oh wow. I just turned around and saw like ten people wearing costumes. I wish I could take a picture of it, but the sunlight is making the picture end up mostly in shadows. It’s not too big of a deal. That’s a common occurrence here at GenCon.

Finding Waldo is also a fairly common occurrence

Finding Waldo is also a fairly common occurrence

Why do I love GenCon?

I think that question is pretty relevant to me, considering I’m here at GenCon right now. For those of us who have been to conventions, that’s a silly question. We all have conventions that are ‘ours.’ Conventions we consider to be our heart. Our home. GenCon is that convention for me.

I love tabletop RPGs like Rifts, Amber, AD&D 2nd edition, Feng Shui, and a few others. GenCon’s the place I can go to meet the game creators and meet hundreds of like-minded fans. With my first trip to GenCon, I met one of my gaming heroes: Erick Wujcik.  He wrote the Amber Diceless RPG back in the late 1980s. It’s grown to have a small cult following (which I am a part of). I wasn’t sure what to expect when I met him. Words cannot properly describe what it was like. He was a very busy man, but he took the time to talk with me and share his love of Amber. It was clear to me that he made the game as an expression of love rather than for profit motives. That’s the Erick I remember and will always remember.

Yeah, I miss Erick. He died of cancer a few years back. I still have his autograph (he said my name was cool) and no… no cannot have it. It’s mine.

Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine….  my precioussssssss…..

Wow.

I went off track there.

Oh wait. No I didn’t.

Why do I love GenCon? I can enjoy nerd culture here in all its glorious aspect. Every year, I find something new. Something fun. Heck, maybe something familiar. I can still meet the people who help sculpt the very culture I enjoy on a daily basis and thank them for doing so.

Or maybe I can just do this:

TURN AROUND MICHAEL!  QUICK!

TURN AROUND MICHAEL! QUICK!

In the end, it’s about having fun. And GenCon’s a place where I can do that.

The objectification of cosplayers

Cosplaying gives the cosplayers  a chance to dress up as their favorite characters. And if we are being honest with ourselves, there’s an expression of sexuality that goes along with it. Females in comic books, video games, and anime tend to look fairly sexy. A number of male characters also look quite sexy, but not to the extent of female characters.

Taken at GenCon 2009.

Taken at GenCon 2009.

There’s nothing wrong with that. We’re all adults here and there’s nothing wrong with having fun with it, right?

Right?

http://stickiebun13.tumblr.com/post/54962207802/warning-to-any-female-cosplayer-in-the-chicago-and

Sadly, stories like this are common. One of my facebook friends who is a female cosplayer told me that she regularly receives stalkers on her page and strange comments. I remember reading something by Meagan Marie (I can’t find where she wrote this sadly) where she talked about being the object of sexuality with her cosplaying. I’m betting if any of us talks to any female cosplayer, we’ll find them being objectified.

Objectification happens when a cosplayer isn’t treated like a human being but as an object. I’ve said before that cosplaying is a hell of a lot of fun and that cosplayers tend to be the friendliest and most helpful people I’ve ever met… and I’m standing by it. It’s what so frustrating for me. These are cool people who have a lot of talent. They express this talent by making incredible costumes. Not only that, they dress up in those costumes and have a lot of fun modeling that costume. All they are doing is having fun and being friendly. But there’s a group of guys who thinks that these people are objects to be lusted after and will treat them as things. These people over-react when they discover that the cosplayers that thing of as objects are real people who get pissed off and hurt  when they are treated like things rather than people.

There is a flipside to objectifying cosplayers.

Wonderful cosplay that's sadly not appreciated by those jerks

Wonderful cosplay that’s sadly not appreciated by those jerks

These people aren’t paying attention to the beauty of the costume nor how happy the cosplayer looks. They don’t see a person. They see something to criticize. Something to objectify. It must be easy for them to criticize someone when they don’t see a person.

3576-objection

 

Yes, Phoenix Wright doesn’t care for all of this objectification going on. Neither do I. Maybe the public shaming of people like Christopher Jason Ross will discourage others from pulling the same sort of crap. I mean…. there’s nothing wrong with having fun with the fantasy as long as we keep in mind that everyone involved is a human being. And all human beings should be treated with a degree of respect rather than as an object.

 

Cosplaying: Erik of the Phantom of the Opera

So I decided on one of my costumes for GenCon this year. Yeah, as if the title didn’t give it away.

 

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I was able to get the mask from a Halloween store last year. The mask was nice, but it didn’t fit quite right. Part of the problem with it is that it’s plastic. Both sides plastic. I couldn’t wear it for more than 3 or 4 minutes without it getting all sweaty. If I’m going to cosplay as Erik, I have to make the mask my own and find a way to make it work.

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So in order to make the mask my own, I have to be able to make it look authentic and then be able to comfortably wear it. The mask Erik wears doesn’t look like plastic. It’s closer to porcelain. So that means, I have to be able to take the mask and make it look like it is made of a different material than it actually is. There’s a variety of paints out there that could do the trick. This will require research.

As for the problem with the sweat, I think there could be a way to line the inside of it with a thin cloth to collect the sweat. It could also help keep the mask steady on my face. Though it would beg the question how to get a cloth to comfortable fit onto the plastic.

I’m still trying to figure out what to wear with the mask. The hair’s easy enough… I’ll just slick it back. The rest of it could be a bit more difficult. Erik’s a snappy dresser for a creepy dude who stalks Christine in an opera house. I can’t just wing it with a nice shirt and pants. Every picture I’ve seen of Erik tells me that the dude knew how to dress.

So yeah, he wore black with a bit of it, but not all of it. One rendition has him in a tux while the other just flat out looks good! I figure I’ll have to hit the thrift store quite a bit of times to put together something that looks as good!

Not to worry about my Hercules cosplay. It’s still coming along. I’m just trying to expand and figure out what else I could do as well.

Cosplaying: What I’m Learning

(note: I didn’t ask permission to use any pictures, so I am using pictures from my own personal collection)

I want to introduce you to two very cool people in the cosplaying community: Zarah Diane and Loryanna Michalek.

Zarah Diane’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zarah-Dianes-Costumes-Modeling/180235458667835

I met Zarah when I began researching how to make costumes. Zarah is special to me because she introduced me into the world of cosplaying. I never understood it until I met her. Sure, I saw all the costumes and understood that these costumes tended to be handmade. But the world of cosplaying is so much more than that.

An accurate cosplay for a costume like this takes a lot of skill.

An accurate cosplay for a costume like this takes a lot of skill.

Cosplayers formed an inclusive community. This isn’t just a hobby that people occasionally indulges in. This is something closer to a fun lifestyle. Cosplayers really are a tight knit community. When I met Zarah, she introduced me to another cosplayer who cosplays as Hercules. And this guy is also incredibly friendly, available to answer any questions I may have.

She warned me that cosplaying could end up running a pretty penny. It’s very easy to spend hundreds of dollars on any costume, so setting a budget is very important. And you know what? She’s right. The moment I began to look at fabrics and toys to go with the Hercules costume I’m planning out, I noticed I started to go overboard almost immediately. So I learned a very important rule.

If you want to get into cosplaying, find someone who’s a veteran and seek her/his guidance. Believe me, you will not regret it.

Cosplaying is far more fun in a group

Cosplaying is far more fun in a group

Loryanna Michalek: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AStoryInCloth

Loryanna is a fairly renown cosplayer. Her costumes have been the highlight of several Think Geek contests, has been in several magazines, does commission work through her etsy site, and produces a number of costume jewelry for cosplayers. She does incredible work. If you look at her page, you’ll find some really nice looking steampunk merchandise, fun things for teddy bears, and very cool improvised jewelry.

Loryanna’s strength is her ability to improvise. This is an important part of cosplaying: having the vision to see the end product in the components you have in front of you. I look at pop tabs and guitar picks and see nothing. She saw earrings. It’s things like this that sets the average cosplayer apart from the truly excellent one: vision. I like finding people like her because there’s a lot that can be learned from someone who has artistic vision like Loryanna.

From her, I learned the importance of creativity and having the desire to learn more about the trade. There’s a lot that goes into cosplaying, or costume making as a whole.

Cosplaying is a fun world

Cosplaying is a fun world

Cosplaying is a fun world. I cannot wait to get involved in it 🙂

Cosplaying: Letting the imagination go free

Cosplaying looks like fun.

Oh dear god don't hit me!

Oh dear god don’t hit me!

I am still in the planning phases for my costume (HERCULES!), so all I can do is imagine what it’ll look like. But I noticed something while imagining. I was picturing what it would be like to wear it. Not only the people’s reaction to it, but what it would be like to play pretend. To be Hercules.

WHYYYYYYYYYYY?

WHYYYYYYYYYYY?

It’s more than just playing pretend. A friend of mine, Jennifer Munoz, told of about her experience wearing a costume at a convention. People got her attention by calling out the name of the character she was dressed as. To the other people, they saw her as that character. You know, I am the same way. When I saw people dressed up, I saw them as the character they were dressed up as. Jennifer referred to it as being in Disneyland, being surrounded by your favorite characters. I’ve never been to Disneyland (or Disneyworld), but I get the sentiment. It’s one of the reasons why I love going to GenCon

What is it about me that makes me so killable?

What is it about me that makes me so killable?

I think cosplaying is a way of celebrating geekdom in a very meaningful way. We get to dress up as our favorite characters, become them, and play with them (or as them) in a fun way. Honestly, I want that experience when I dress up as Hercules. So for now, I’m going  to dream what it’ll be like. I think that’s the first step.

Cosplaying

One part of geek culture that I love to death is cosplaying. It’s at every convention that has to do with anything geek related: Star Trek, Star Wars, comic book, roleplaying, and so on.

I caught Carmen Sandiego

I caught Carmen Sandiego

I like going to GenCon every year. This convention exposed me to the world of cosplaying. The people were friendly and fun loving. There were some costumes that took months to make. There’s a costume contest that shows it all off.

Dear lord, that's creepy

Dear lord, that’s creepy

Even if you aren’t into geek culture, you have to admire the work and dedication that went into these costumes. I’ve been told some costumes take hundreds of hours to complete. Put that on top of the make-up work that goes into this… and you have people who are truly dedicated to their craft.

Amazing work

Amazing work

All these pictures were taken at GenCon by me a year ago. There’s a lot more pictures that I have which I would love to share with all of you. Each costume is unique, sort of like a fingerprint. Someday, I’ll be making costumes of my own!

I want my first costume to be Hercules!

Someday....

Someday….

The greatest superhero of all time!